Silent night, Holy night.
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Beautifully carved and perfectly polished they are in our homes, offices and gardens. We call them: Nativity , crèche, or presipio.
Shepherds and magi alike kneel at the manger in pristine, wrinkle-free, perfectly draped robes. One can not detect the
faintest scent of sheep or cow. Wonderful representations for sure; but not exactly realistic.
I wonder if Joseph Mohr was looking at a Nativity Scene as he penned arguably the most iconic hymn text of all time.
I doubt, however Mohr was thinking about this section of Luke’s gospel:
“The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt. His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”
— The Message Catholic/Ecumenical Edition by Eugene Peterson, William Griffin
Sleep in heavenly peace
(Unless you’re the parent of small children)
OK, time for a flash quiz:
Which of the following are true?
A) Josef Mohr had 7 children and 26 grandchildren
B) Joseph Mohr was a pediatric physician
C) Joseph Mohr went to live and study in a monastery at age 16
And the correct answer is.....
Let me put it this way: a musician and priest who went to live in a Monastery at age 16 knows as much about the realities of child-rearing as a Martian studying farm animals by looking at a Nativity Scene in store window.
As we sit between 3 months of Christmas movies and New Years resolutions let us remember that each of our imperfect families; your’s and mine can be good, loving, Christian, Holy Families.
Perhaps you will be inspired by Joseph Mohr; born to an unmarried embroiderer and a mercenary soldier and deserter, who abandoned his family before the birth of his son.
All Is Calm, all is bright.
Christ, the Savior is born.
Blessed to be in ministry with you at St. Mary’s